All Articles: Immigration news

Coronavirus and the UK immigration system

Measures taken to combat the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 disease have changed almost every aspect of society both here in the UK and around the world. The immigration system is no exception. This post gathers together various updates on changes ...

6th April 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 120

The government continues to keep us immigration lawyers on our toes, and everyone else completely flummoxed, with yet another statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. Thankfully, many of these changes are welcome as they plug gaps in the EU Sett ...

13th March 2020 By

Comment: Attorney General’s rule of law record could hinder EU extradition deal

Yesterday’s government announcement on The Future Relationship with the EU made it clear that the United Kingdom would not seek to participate in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) scheme. This will not come as a surprise to those who have been watch ...

28th February 2020 By

Public must be told how controversial visa streaming tool works, immigration inspector says

The Home Office should release more details about a “cryptic” computer programme that scores visa applicants as high, medium and low risk, the immigration inspector has recommended. David Bolt says that while applicants labelled high risk ...

6th February 2020 By

Solicitor charged asylum client on the side instead of offering him legal aid

An experienced immigration lawyer has been struck off for failing to check whether a client qualified for legal aid and charging him without telling the firm she was working for. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Keisha Hackett, 43, had ...

5th February 2020 By

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on the majority of UK visa applications. The IHS is on top of other Home Office immigration fees and is designed to land in a different government pocket. Also known as the NHS surcharge, it essen ...

29th January 2020 By

New Home Office guidance on refusing settlement over tax discrepancies

The Home Office has published specific guidance on settlement applications by migrants who previously held Tier 1 (General) leave and who declared different sets of earnings to the Home Office and HMRC. The document must be read alongside the more gen ...

20th January 2020 By

Law Commission calls for total rewrite of Immigration Rules

The Law Commission’s long-awaited report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules says that rewriting and paring down the “overly complex and unworkable” document would improve legal certainty and transparency for applicants as we ...

14th January 2020 By

Immigration lawyer struck off over legal aid fraud of up to £5 million

An immigration lawyer has been struck off not long after being released from prison for defrauding the Legal Aid Agency of up to £5 million. A disciplinary tribunal found that Astrid Halberstadt-Twum was guilty of “deliberate, calculated and re ...

13th January 2020 By

Ian Macdonald QC: A personal reminiscence by Sir Nicholas Blake

Recent accounts of Ian’s life have brought more detail of his early years and his robust defence tactics at trial such as those of the Mangrove defendants. Whilst those paying tribute have acknowledged him as the father of British immigration law, ...

9th January 2020 By

The general election manifestos on immigration and asylum, compared

What will the government formed after Thursday’s general election do with the UK immigration system? The three main political parties — those that have been in government before and might be again — have all published manifestos addr ...

10th December 2019 By

Is the government website misleading visa applicants?

I am seeing more and more people who have filed their own visa application, relying on what they’ve read on the immigration pages of gov.uk. They often tell me that they followed the information on the website carefully when preparing their appl ...

5th December 2019 By

The Conservative manifesto: an “Australian-style points based system”

If the polls are to be believed, the manifesto that the Conservatives launched yesterday will be the legislative agenda for the UK’s next government. Whichever way you intend to vote in the upcoming election, it needs careful scrutinising to see wha ...

25th November 2019 By

The Labour manifesto: end the hostile environment

All eyes were on Birmingham yesterday for the launch of the Labour Party’s manifesto. Billed as “radical” by Jeremy Corbyn, its stated purpose is to offer “real change” and to build a fairer Britain. But this sense of radical ...

22nd November 2019 By

The Liberal Democrat manifesto: break up the Home Office

This is overall a good manifesto on immigration from the Liberal Democrats. There are some choices that niggle, but often in areas where there is no perfect answer. It is still nowhere near forward-thinking or ambitious enough, and it will be interest ...

21st November 2019 By

10 of the most outrageous Home Office refusal letters

Bureaucrats are not generally known for their creative thinking. But show a Home Office immigration official an application for asylum or a visa and watch their imagination run riot. All these are real excuses, communicated in official government lett ...

14th November 2019 By

Ian Macdonald QC, 1939-2019

Ian Macdonald QC has passed away. He was the founder and father of immigration law in this country. He literally wrote the book when in 1983 he published the first edition of the now legendary Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice. It is now i ...

13th November 2019 By

Cambridge academic falls victim to “long residence” rules on excess absences 

A post by a young Cambridge academic refused indefinite leave to remain after spending a year abroad has triggered a viral Twitter outpouring of indignation and support – but did the Home Office get it wrong? Today I’ve been in the UK for 10 years ...

11th November 2019 By

Four examples of how overstaying on your visa can ruin your life

Following on from my McGill & Co. colleague Darren’s recent post on the consequences of overstaying, I thought I would illustrate his point with a few case studies. The following examples are all derived from real cases that I have recently ...

31st October 2019 By

Home Office comes out fighting in new guidance on false representations

The Home Office has issued new policy guidance on when it will refuse applications on the grounds of deception or dishonesty, i.e. where an applicant has made a false representation. The guidance follows a serious defeat in the Court of Appeal earlie ...

14th October 2019 By

What to do if you lose your British passport abroad

You’ve just had a fantastic summer holiday in, let’s say, Greece — away from the daily grind, the misery of Brexit and British summertime weather. Sunshine every day, beach swimming, late nights, great wine, even better food. You’re basica ...

27th August 2019 By

Comment: the government’s immigration statistics are a work in progress

An important Office for National Statistics (ONS) report released this week provides revised figures for EU and non-EU net migration since 2009. Here’s my take on what the key points of the report are. It has been clear for some time that someth ...

23rd August 2019 By

What does Boris Johnson really think about immigration?

Boris Johnson is the new leader of the Conservative Party, and our next Prime Minister. How might he change the UK government’s policy on immigration? An important question, and when it comes to Johnson potentially a Sisyphean task, given his reputa ...

23rd July 2019 By
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